This wine has always been a favorite with the percentages of grape varietals changing yearly under the watchful eye of their winemaking team lead by Aaron Potts. Blackbird Vineyards prides their care of the vineyards from vines to bottle with every detail measured and weighed to produce an excellent Right Bank wine style to be enjoyed. Just some of the details of their processes:
* Premium vineyard management – Renteria Vineyard Management for precise agricultural development.
* Sustainable farming – Blackbird Vineyards seldom uses commercial pesticides, herbicides or artificial fertilizers. All organic materials from farming and harvest are returned and put back into the soils as compost. The vineyard has a permanent cover crop of native grasses, flowers and legumes planted as ground cover between the rows of vines.
* Rigorous grape selection – in some cases, Blackbird Vineyards winemaking team will double or triple sort their fruit for top and exclusive quality.
* Indigenous yeasts – this means Blackbird wines are made with less interventionist techniques since the vineyard’s native yeast starts the fermentation process naturally.
* The list goes on with blending process, detailed barrel selections, toasting requirements, etc.
Tasting can be arranged at RiverHouse, their downtown Napa hospitality facility.
Pulled out of the cellar last night a 2014 Blackbird Vineyards Contrarian, a red blend of 81% Cabernet Sauvignon, 6% Cabernet Franc and 13% Merlot. Immediately the dark ruby and purple coloration and heavy viscosity resonated on my eyes. The nose was an aromatic mixture of intense black and red fruit with blackberry leading the charge. On the palate, mocha and vanilla with hint of “pencil shavings” gently coated the mouth. The finish was smooth with soft velvety tannins and structure which endured a long time. The retail price is currently listed as $180. Today the 2017 is available at $135 from the winery and its ability to age will only make this wine better! Wine rating is 95 points.
Paired last evening with a filet mignon, seared on the BBQ to a beautiful medium rare presentation.
Truly one of the “keeper bottles” for any wine cellar.